Found

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We made it to the end of the week… Aleluia! And the good news, Boston will not get buried in snow this weekend.  For those mid-Atlantic readers, good luck 😉

This week’s found item may be the best photo editing app yet. A Color Story, brought to you by two amazing sisters, who just happen to be the founders of A Beautiful Mess, is AMAZING. A year and a half in the making, ACS is an everyday photo editing app with filters, tools, and simple light effects. The app has 100+ filters, 30+ effects 20+ tools and the freedom to create and save custom filters. I purchased the whole bundle yesterday at the introductory price of $7.99 and must admit it was my best purchase of the week!

I posted my first photo using the app last night. It pops, right? Looking to up your Instagram game {like me}? Then you’ve gotta try A Color Story.

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Justice

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Making a Murderer… have you seen it? This 10 hour documentary series on Netflix has blown my mind {and made me regret not becoming an attorney}. I firmly believed at the end of it all, justice was not served and that defense attorneys Dean Strang and Jerry Buting had proven that reasonable doubt existed.  But then, this week I’ve read this New Yorker article and an interview with Nancy Grace and I’m left even more confused. And while searching for an image to use for today’s post, I came across this article from yesterday’s Wall Street Journal. It’s all just getting muddier and muddier. What do you think… guilty? Not guilty? Help me sort this out!

Celebrate

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I can’t believe I let the date slip my mind but on January 16th, this little blog celebrated 3 years!

Thank you for being part of this journey with me. I have enjoyed sharing my now 271 blog posts with you and although infrequent at times, it has been a pleasure sharing my life with you. To celebrate, I wanted to share my top 5 posts over these past 1,100 or so days.

A funny thing happened to me over the weekend. A dear friend {and former boss} said to me “I just love your travels, your photos on Instagram, and your blog. Are you legit blogging now, i.e. making money?” I had to laugh at this. My goal from the get-go was never to make a buck. I wanted to share myself, my thoughts, my failures and my successes with this community that I do not know by face but who I thought my benefit from my truths. I really do credit A Day with May with helping me heal from so many losses. It makes me feel connected and part of something greater than myself. And I hope to continue to do so for the next 3 years and beyond!

Tuesday Travel

Paris

I’ll be honest. I’ve had a few difficult days. January is always a hard month for me. The one activity that helps when I’m feeling blue is good old research. Travel research, that is. In May, my girl and I are off to Paris. My last visit was fall of 2011.  I’m guessing quite a bit has changed so I’m asking  for a little help. What are your must do’s for shopping, eating, museums, day trips, etc. I purchased this little guide to help but would welcome any and all recommendations. Merci beaucoup!

Image Credit: Pinterest 

In the Kitchen

chili

Is everyone else freezing today?! My goodness, winter certainly has arrived. To help add a bit of warmth to you and your homes, I wanted to share one of my favorite chili recipes. I found the recipe last year on Feed Me Phoebe. I have made it my own by making a few slight modifications. All in, this recipe takes about an hour to make. I promise, it is worth it!

Moroccan Chili with Sweet Potatoes, Chickpeas and Kale

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbs. harissa
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes {I always use San Marzano}
  • 1 15 oz. can chickpeas {drained and rinsed}
  • 3 cups diced sweet potato
  • 2 cups water
  • bunch of fresh kale
  • 1 lemon

Directions

In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil and saute onions over medium heat until soft. This usually takes about 5 minutes. Push the onions to the side of the pan and add the ground turkey. Cook the meat, breaking apart with a wooden spoon until browned and cook through. The onions will become incorporated as your brown the turkey. Add the garlic, harissa, cumin and sea salt and cook for 1 minute or until the spices have become fragrant.  Pour in the tomatoes {with the juice} and cook for about 15 minutes. Stir frequently and make sure to scrap up all the brown bits at the bottom of the pan. This is where the flavor is!

After the mixture has reduced, add the chickpeas, sweet potato, and kale. For the kale, I usually buy a bunch at the store and just tear the leaves off the stem. I think it works out to be about 3 cups when said and done. Bring chili to a boil, turn the heat to low, and simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes or until the sweet potato is tender and the chili has thickened.

Before serving, add in the juice of 1 lemon. To serve, I add in a little sour cream, grated cheese and finish off with a warm corn tortilla.

Tuesday Travel

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With the new year upon us, my mind seems to be filled with wanderlust and dreams of faraway travels. We have a few trips planned but I’m hoping to add a few more to the list. This sense of wander was sparked by reading Wildsam’s secrets for the best trip ever. As you know, I’m a huge Wildsam fan so their advice is always sage in my book and thus I just had to share.

  1. Focus on the Neighborhood. And not so much on the hotel.
  2. Start on the flight. Start the immersion into your destination on the plane. This one made me chuckle as K and I watched In Bruges on our flight to Belgium.
  3. Become a regular. Find your spot and go more than once. You will fit right in.
  4. Rise, shine and run. In other words, be active and take in your new location on foot.
  5. Break the law {sort of}. Travel is the perfect time to step out of your comfort zone and say yes to new experiences.
  6. Leave Room for the Holy Spirit. Be open to opportunities and invitations you didn’t plan on.
  7. Bring a $50 bill. This allows you permission to treat yourself to something good.
  8. Talk to strangers. Locals really do know best!
  9. Eat dinner twice. This really doesn’t need an explanation, especially for me.
  10. Don’t go ice skating. If you aren’t a museum buff, don’t spend hours of your trip to Paris at The Louvre. Spend your trip doing what you love.
  11. Easy on the Instagram. Focus on the experience, not taking the perfect photo.
  12. Book the last flight home. I couldn’t agree more.

Where are your travels taking you in 2016? I’d love to hear!

Movie Monday

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My most favorite part of the New Year is… Awards Season. With the Golden Globes this Sunday, I am on my annual race to see all the nominated movies. K and I checked the second one off our list yesterday… Carol. Directed by Todd Haynes, this film brings to life the 1950’s novel The Price of Salt, the cult favorite touted as “the novel of a love that society forbids.”

Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara are flawless, which of course led to their Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture- Drama nomination for the Globes. The story itself is one that resonates deeply with me. Being able to be with the one you love. A beautiful film that should not be missed.